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'Star of Bethlehem’ lighting at Sparrows Point set for Wednesday

"Star of Bethlehem" at former Sparrows Point steel mill will be illuminated Wednesday.

Tradepoint Atlantic, the company that owns the former Sparrows Point steel mill, will continue its new tradition of lighting the mill's Star of Bethlehem for the holidays on Wednesday. Tradepoint officials plan to illuminate the star during a ceremony at 5 p.m.

When Bethlehem Steel operated the mill, the giant star with its 196 bulbs adorned the giant L blast furnace at the heart of the property. It was lit each winter to pay homage both to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem — and the company that provided jobs and a livelihood for tens of thousands of workers and their families.

After the blast furnace was torn down last year, the star was installed on the water treatment plant -- one of the few remaining buildings on the property. While it's not as visible as it was on the blast furnace, drivers traveling over the Key Bridge approaching Sparrows Point can glimpse the lit star.

Tradepoint Atlantic officials have said they eventually hope to find a more visible, permanent location for the Star of Bethlehem. The company, which bought the shuttered steel mill in 2013, is remaking the property into an industrial and logistics campus.

In the year since the 2015 lighting at the water treatment plant, the old steel mill has undergone a raft of changes: the name was changed from Sparrows Point Terminal to Tradepoint Atlantic and some tenants were announced, including Under Armour, Pasha Automotive and Atlantic Forest Products.

The Star of Bethlehem ceremony on Wednesday is open to the public. Guests should take Bethlehem Boulevard to the western side of the property and follow it to Riverside Drive.

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

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